Lax Kw’alaams asks court to strike Gitxaala’s claim for an injunction in Watson Island case

Filings related to the sale of Watson Island continue in court, as Lax Kw'alaams and Kitkatla dispute Aboriginal title to the land.

Filings related to the sale of Watson Island continue in court, as Lax Kw’alaams and Kitkatla continue to dispute Aboriginal title to the land.

In a November 4 filing, Lax Kw’alaams asked the court to strike the Gitxaala claim for an “injunction preventing the City of Prince Rupert from transferring, selling or otherwise disposing of or substantially redeveloping any portion” of the Watson Island site without “written acknowledgement from the Gitxaala Nation that the Gitxaala Nation has been consulted or sufficiently accommodated”. The filing asked they be “struck as an abuse of process of the court or unnecessary, scandalous, frivolous or vexatious”.

The filing lists a number of reasons for the request, the first being the impact the proceedings have on the sale of Watson Island to a joint venture that includes the Coast Tsimshian.

“The existence of the Civil Claim and the outstanding claim for an injunction is a substantial interference in the efforts of the City and the Lax Kw’alaams joint venture to complete financing and otherwise close the land transaction, and the existence of the civil claim and the outstanding claim for an injunction is causing prejudice to the defendants,” read the filing, which noted Lax Kw’alaams is paying $55,000 per month “in holding and maintenance costs while the transaction is pending.

However, in their response, the counsel for Chief Elmer Moody says the request for an injunction should not be impacting the sale of the land.

“There is currently no injunction order preventing the City of Prince Rupert from transferring or selling the land at issue. The Plaintiffs in their Notice of Civil Claim only seek remedies as against the City of Prince Rupert. There is no urgency to the Lax Kw’alaams application,” reads the response dated November 10.

Another concern of the Lax Kw’alaams is the length of time it is taking for the process to move forward, which they say the Plaintiff is responsible for.

“Gitxaala has not produced expeditiously either with the whole of the litigation and has taken no steps to proceed to trial. Aside from providing, after repeated demands, an initial list of documents on June 16, 2011, the Plaintiffs have provided no further materials related to this litigation generally or in particular with regard to the interlocutory injunction they seek,” reads the filing.

“It appears to be the intention of the Plaintiff to stall any action on the litigation for as long as possible, and thereby prevent sale of the lands, without bringing on any application for injunction…The Defendant Lax Kw’alaams allege that the Plaintiffs have filed the Notice of Civil Claim in bad faith, and without the intent of proceeding to trial, but instead for the improper purpose of bringing pressure upon the City of Prince Rupert to negotiate or abandon the sale.”

The Gitxaala, however, say the length of time in responding to requests is due to the nature of the claim.

“Because Gitxaala’s claim is founded in oral history, this has necessitated an extensive and time consuming process of gathering oral history evidence relating to Watson Island which is not yet complete,” read the response, which also says the affidavits provided by lax Kw’alaams total hundreds of pages and take time to address.

“The Plaintiffs are currently devoting their limited resources to providing responses to requests from examination to discovery, as well as engaging in critical consultations which also involve Lax Kw’alaams. Lax Kw’alaams sought an order requiring them to provide responses and the Plaintiffs consented to an order to do so by the end of November.”

Initially a hearing on the matter was scheduled for November 21 but given the amount of information, the fact Gitxaala would have to have a response to the court five days after the hundreds of pages of affidavits were received and that the counsel for Gitxaala is unavailable that day, Gitxaala has asked the court to delay the hearing until January 3, 2012.

“The Plaintiffs will be further be prejudiced if they are required to provide an application response and supporting affidavits….Five business days after being served with the Lax Kw’alaams application and extensive supporting material,” read the response.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Man hit over the head with a hatchet released from hospital

Prince Rupert RCMP have been in a standoff with a violent suspect since the early morning

Equality and more jobs in coal terminal’s future

Ridley Terminals Inc. shipments out of Prince Rupert increased by 90 per cent in 2017

Squatters’ campfire leads to emergency response

Prince Rupert fire crews responded to smoke near Roosevelt Elementary School on July 17

CMTN First Nations Fine Arts program offers new advanced diploma

The 10-month program will focus on enhancing jewellery, sculpture and marketing skills

North Coast fishing grounds key to orca recovery: DFO

Plan marks waters from Langara to Rose Spit as critical habitat for northern resident killer whales

Community garden in Prince Rupert takes shape

Transition Prince Rupert lays foundation for shared edible garden on Overlook

Newspaper carriers wanted!

Contact The Northern View today to find out how you can become a part of our team

14-year-old pilot attempts to break Guinness World Record at B.C. airport

Mohd Shaikhsorab wants to become youngest pilot with fewest hours logged to fly solo

Price no guarantee for safety with horse riding helmets: new report

A Swedish insurance report reveals that many brands of equestrian helmets do not protect riders as well as they could.

One year later: Still no suspects in killing of 13-year-old B.C. girl

Marrisa Shen was killed in Burnaby’s Central Park on July 18, 2017

BC Games opening ceremonies promise to be magical

Features Shane Koyczan and his band, Asani, parade of athletes, and lots more

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors send DeMar DeRozan to Spurs in colossal NBA trade

Toronto also sent Jakob Poeltl and 2019 first-round pick, gets Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

More lightning forecast as storm sparks 38 new wildfires in B.C.

22 new fires in are burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Most Read